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Report: Hand Among Top Ranked High Schools In CT

U.S News & World Report just released its 2014 high school rankings, and districts from the greater Hartford area and Fairfield County grabbed most of the top spots across the state.

Daniel Hand has been ranked among the top high schools in the state. Credit: Patch file photo
Daniel Hand has been ranked among the top high schools in the state. Credit: Patch file photo
The data has been collected and the numbers have been crunched, and the U.S. News & World Report has handed in its homework: the 2014 rankings for the top high schools across the country has just been released.

And this year, schools from the Hartford area and Fairfield County lead the way in academic excellence, fleshing out most of the spots at the top of the Connecticut's top ranked list. (see the list above)

At the head of the class this year is Academy of Aerospace and Engineering in Hartford, which U.S. News ranks as the state's best high school.

Daniel Hand High School, however, had a strong showing in this year's list — coming in at #33 in the report's statewide rankings

The full slate of the news magazine's Connecticut high school rankings can be found here.

Nation's Top School

The nation's top high school is School for the Talented and Gifted in Dallas, Texas. 

Only one Connecticut school ranked in the Top 25 of this year's list — the state's top ranked school, Academy of Aerospace and Engineering, at No. 15.

Ranking Methodology

The report bases its findings on "the key principles that a great high school must serve all of its students well, not just those who are college bound, and that it must be able to produce measurable academic outcomes to show the school is successfully educating its student body across a range of performance indicators." 

Schools were then awarded gold, silver or bronze medals "based on their performance on state assessments and how well they prepare students for college."

Click here to read the report's full methodology.
Gus R. Horvath April 24, 2014 at 11:29 AM
It appears that Hand High would have scored higher if more students took AP classes and scored 3+ or more on the exams . Are they limited if offerings ?
Samuel Goodbaum April 26, 2014 at 02:51 PM
I seem to remember that not too long ago DHHS was ranked much higher academically, perhaps in the top ten. When we moved to Madison nearly thirty years ago, the school system was the primary draw. Have the criteria changed? Have AP and gifted programs been cut back? Are our kids not as smart as they used to be? Clearly we owe our kids a first class education. Does anyone know why we placed a respectable, but not distinguished thirty-third? Can we do better? My kids are long gone, but they got a great education in our school system. I am hoping we are not short-changing our current and future students.
Robyn Klaskin May 01, 2014 at 07:33 AM
Gus is right. One of the criterion used is the number (or student body percentage) that sit for, and score highly on, the AP exams. Typical of our district over the past decade, we do what is right by our students instead of focusing on external ranking criteria. We have made a wide variety of UCONN early college credit (ECE) courses available to our students. These are attractive because they actually provide students an early glimpse of college level work and help bolster their confidence, while carrying honors/AP-level, challenging content AND earning kids some college credit dirt cheap. The only prob is that the ECE courses have proven SO popular that they attract students away from traditional AP classes. Superintendent Klein tried to work with US News & World Report to explain this, but they'd rather take the easy route and do it the way they've always done it. So DHHS is being punished for focusing on the needs and preferences of our students; for going the extra mile to prep them for college. Frankly, we ought to be ranked higher than many on that list; but for our derogatory marks in that one area of AP participation and scores. BTW - Hello Gus and Sam.
Robyn Klaskin May 01, 2014 at 07:34 AM
Sorry - that last comment was from Seth Klaskin, not Robyn (darned log-in error!).
Gus R. Horvath May 01, 2014 at 01:07 PM
Robyn? Seth?. Thanks for the update.

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